We weren’t always quite such good buddies, my brother and I. In fact our personalities were so vastly opposite (he was happiest enjoying his own company and I was the clingy, tearful, demanding first born who couldn’t understand why a 2nd child had been necessaryin the first place) and so any photographs of us together and smiling are rare; until you get to our twenties where we’ve both left home, moved into the same shared house and got on so well you’d think we’d been joined at the hip since birth (a biological feat worthy of medical marvel if ever there was one).
I’d been – as you know – scouring the contents of our *Priests’ Hole searching for suitable material for these #MemoryMonday snapshots whilst also at the same time, searching for a suitable image of the little bro’ to make a personalised *Moonpig card for his half century celebration which was yesterday. And I came across this. One of those rare moments where he isn’t in his vest and pants grubbed up to the gills with garden earth and wailing that his horrible big sister has forced him to eat a proper ‘mud pie’ with worms and all, nor am I the picture of a sullen and/or attention-seeking little charmer making odd faces at the camera which I always imagined my parents would one day believe a hidden delight and hug me for it.
This one tells a slightly different story. In this I am the (told you) sullen 21 year old sister at the occasion of my brother’s 18th Birthday. He is perched jauntily at the edge of the picnic table and bench combo that passed as out kitchen dining set and is sporting the kind of 1983 shiny suit that made fans of Spandau Ballet go weak at the knees and swoon before them (note the rolled-up sleeves a la Miami Vice) and I have every confidence that swooning before his spangly Spandau suit was the plan this 18year old had in mind when he put it on (the jacket had been the present from our parents and I’d bought the matching trousers) before joining me at one of the nightclubs we habitually frequented during this halcyon decade.
We’ve had our ups and downs, my brother and I. But I think secretly we’ve always been glad of each other. We’ve gone from confusion at each other, despair, hatred and spite towards each other and frustrating disbelief of each other, but through it all there’s been a bond that perhaps comes from having to grow up with the same odd, cold, unfathomable parents.
I wouldn’t wish another brother in the world and I would give him my last button if it would help him (he won’t believe this as Coopers are infamously tight). SoHappy half century, kiddo. Here’s to the next 🙂 x
*might not be a Priests’ Hole, could be a weird-shaped cupboard
*other personalised gift-making companies are available